APEC HAUS, National Capital District


Meet the Speakers

Hon. Peter O'Neill CMG, MP

Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea

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Dr. Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana

Under-Secretary General of UN & Executive Secretary of ESCAP

Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana is the Executive Secretary of the UN ESCAP. Prior to the position, Alisjahbana was a Professor of Economics at Universitas Padjadjaran as well as serving as the Director for the Center for Sustainable Development Goals Studies and as the Vice-Chair of the Indonesian Academy of Sciences. In 2016, she was a member of the High-Level Independent Team of Advisers to support the Economic and Social Council dialogue on the longer-term positioning of the United Nations development system in the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. From 2009 to 2014, she was the Minister of National Development Planning and the Head of the National Development Planning Agency, Indonesia. She also served as the Co-Chair of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation and was the Alternate Governor of the World Bank and Alternate Governor of the Asian Development Bank representing the Government of Indonesia.

Hon. Powes Parkop LLB, LLM, MP

Governor of the National Capital District, Port Moresby

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Shasha Ridzam

Group Head, International Policies & Institutions, Air Asia

Shasha joined AirAsia in August 2018 as the Group Head of International Policies and Institutions.


She is is responsible for the design and strategic implementation of AirAsia Group’s interests in the areas of aviation, trade, tourism and digital technology in ASEAN and beyond. Her role includes active engagements with governments, international organisations, regional stakeholders and academia in these areas.


Prior to AirAsia, Shasha spent 13 years as an economist in Bank Negara Malaysia (the Central Bank of Malaysia) with a focus on economic development, international economics and financial stability.  As a Deputy Director, she led a team of economists that ​provided robust and timely assessments, forecasts and policy advice for monetary policy, financial policy as well as structural issues to the Malaysian Government. ​Her career in the central bank also included a stint as a core member of the team that formulated Malaysia’s 2010 -2020 Financial Sector Blueprint.


In 2010, she represented Malaysia at the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund. As an Advisor to the Executive Director for the Southeast Asia Group, s​he provided strategic and policy support in advancing and safeguarding the interest of the South East Asian region.


Shasha is an Edward S. Mason Fellow and graduated with a Master in Public Administration from Harvard University and BSc (Honours) Economics from the University of Nottingham in the UK.

Dr George Lam

President, ESCAP Sustainable Business Network

Dr. Lam has over 30 years of international experience in general management, strategy consulting, corporate governance, direct investment, investment banking and fund management across the telecommunications/media/technology (“TMT”), consumer/healthcare, infrastructure/real estates, energy/resources and financial services sectors.


He is Non-Executive Chairman – Hong Kong and ASEAN Region and Chief Adviser to Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets Asia, and Chairman of Hong Kong Cyberport Management Company Limited. He also serves on the board and advisory committee of a number of publicly-listed companies and investment funds in the Asia Pacific region. Active in community service and international affairs, Dr. Lam is President of the Executive Council of United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific Sustainable Business Network, President of Hong Kong-ASEAN Economic Cooperation Foundation, Chairman of Monte Jade Science and Technology Association of Hong Kong, and a board member of Pacific Basin Economic Council and the Chinese General Chamber of Commerce of Hong Kong.


He is a Solicitor of the High Court of Hong Kong, a Fellow of the Hong Kong Institute of Arbitrators, the Hong Kong Institute of Directors and CMA Australia, and an Honorary Fellow of CPA Australia and the University of Hong Kong School of Professional and Continuing Education (HKU SPACE).


Sir Danny Alexander

Vice President, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank

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David Morris

Chair, Asia Pacific Business Forum 2019

David Morris is an international consultant with senior advisory roles in the Asia Pacific and Europe including:


  • Chair, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) Asia Pacific Business Forum 2019
  • Vice President, Sustainable Business Network, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP)
  • Senior Expert – China, East Asia, Australia and the Pacific, LM Political Risk & Strategic Advisory
  • Academic Adviser, Research Center for Pacific Island Countries, Liaocheng University
  • Member, Advisory Board, Institute for Cultural Relations Policy


Over a thirty-year career in diplomacy, politics, academia and international business, David Morris has expertise in


  • geopolitics and international relations
  • governance and leadership dialogue
  • economic development, trade, investment and international marketing


David Morris has represented governments, businesses and non-government organisations in Australia and the Pacific; East Asia including China; and Europe, including Hungary and Ireland.  He recently served for four years as Pacific Trade and Investment Commissioner in China.


His current corporate clients include globalizing businesses in Australia, Austria, China, Hungary and Thailand.


David Morris graduated from the University of Sydney with BA (Honours) and Henley Business School, University of Reading with an MBA.  He is currently completing a PhD with Corvinus University of Budapest and undertaking research in partnership with the Centre for Oceania Studies at Sun Yat Sen University.

Gianluca Rampolla

UN Resident Co-ordinator, Papua New Guinea

Before being appointed as UN Resident Coordinator in the Independent State of Papua New Guinea, Gianluca Rampolla del Tindaro served as Director for Political Affairs at the UN Regional Office for Central Africa in Libreville, Gabon (UNOCA). Prior to his UNOCA post, Mr. Rampolla was the Chief of Office of the Assistant Secretary-General for Peace Building Support (2015-2016). Gianluca was Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs (DPA), in NY, from 2011 to 2014. From 2007 to 2011, Gianluca Rampolla was Head of the Office of the UN Resident Coordinator in Tanzania, and responsible for piloting the Delivering as One reform process. From 2005 to 2007, Gianluca Rampolla was UNDP Chief Technical Advisor in charge of the prgramme to support the strengthening of the capacities for the managment of foreign aid of the Government of Rwanda. Prior to the UN, he worked from 2000 to 2005 at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. He held assignements on the Western Balkans and on Central Asia.


Gianluca Rampolla was born in Rome, Italy, and holds a masters degree in International Affairs from the London School of Economics. He is married and has one child.

Carson Wen

Founder and Chairman, Bank of Asia (BVI) and BOA Financial Group, Hong Kong, China

Carson Wen is the Founder and Chairman of Bank of Asia (BVI) Limited and BOA Financial Group Limited. He is also the Chairman of the SancusGroup of companies, which has investments in policy driven sectors such as new energy, logistics, finance and technology. He has practiced law for over 30 years at his own Hong Kong partnership and subsequently at leading global law firms. Mr. Wen has been named as a leading adviser on Chinese law, mergers & acquisitions and capital markets work in Who’s Who of the Law, Asia Pacific Legal 500, AsiaLawLeading Lawyers, Chambers Asia and China’s Top 200. He is also named in the International Who’s Who and Who’s Who of the World.


Mr. Wen was a three-term Deputy to the National People’s Congress of China, which is the PRC’s national legislature and constitutionally the highest organ of state power, representing Hong Kong. He is also a Justice of the Peace of Hong Kong and held various public service appointments in Mainland China and Hong Kong. He was the Vice-Chairman and currently Party Affairs Advisor of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (“DAB”), the largest political party in Hong Kong. He is also Guest Professor of the Law School of ZhongshanUniversity (also known as Sun Yat-SenUniversity), which is the leading university in Southern China.


Mr. Wen is a member of the Sustainable Business Network of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) and Chairman of its Task Force on Green Business. He is also a Director of the Pacific Basin Economic Council. He is also, inter alia, a Founding Director of the China M&A Association.

Nic Coyle

CEO & Executive Director of the China-Australia Chamber of Commerce - AustCham, Beijing

Nick is the CEO and Executive Director of the China-Australia Chamber of Commerce – AustCham China, based in Beijing.


AustCham China is the peak body for Australian business in China and plays a key role in advocating, connecting and informing on issues impacting business in China.


Nick was born in Sydney, Australia but grew up in Papua New Guinea spending time in both Bougainville and Port Moresby.


An Economist by training, Nick has lived and worked in China since 2009, spending time in Chongqing, Wuhan, Shanghai before moving to Beijing where he has been resident for 6 years.


Nick is passionate about helping businesses develop, especially in challenging markets and is also the Deputy Chair of the APEC China SME Business Forum and the Chair of the Myanmar-China Belt and Road Initiative Association.

Brenda Yan

Partner at Sterling Global Capital and Director at Pioneer Wealth Management

Having over 12 years of experience in banking, structured finance and property funds management, Brenda combines a well-diversified career in the Australian banking and financial services sector with on the ground experience with China outbound investment. She possesses extensive experience in both debt and equity capital markets in Australia as well as financial planning and private wealth.


Brenda has a specialisation in property funds management and structured property finance, including residential and commercial development, joint ventures and investment finance. She also has solid experience in tailor made investment advice and wealth creation strategies for high net worth investors as well as operational and portfolio management across private banking clients.


Brenda holds a Master of Applied Commerce from Melbourne University and a Master of Wealth Management from Deakin University.


Notable credentials include:


  • Arrangement of Debt and Syndication with over 10 Australian and international banks / financial institutions in excess of $250 million
  • Arrangement of fixed income investments for family offices in excess of $100 million
  • Setup and management of SGC Mortgage and Credit Fund
  • Various Debt and Equity structuring for Property and Property Funds transactions

Cheng Lei

Anchor on Global Business - China Global Television Network

Cheng Lei is the anchor for the “Global Business” show on China Global Television Network (rebranded from CCTV-News), available to over 100 million households around the world and with a 51-million strong following on social media.


Prior to re-joining CCTV in 2013, Lei was the China Correspondent for CNBC for nine years, based in Shanghai and Singapore.


Over her 18 year career in journalism, Lei has interviewed an impressive array of political and business leaders, including Bill Gates, Jack Ma, heads of state like the Finnish president and Malaysian prime minister, CEOs of China’s biggest companies like ICBC, China Construction Bank, China Energy, China General Nuclear, ChemChina, China Resources, China National Building Materials, Norinco, China Gold, as well as over 100 CEOs of Fortune 500 companies. She has hosted and moderated events such as the APEC China CEO forum, the Belt and Road forum in Australia, the CFO forum in Singapore, the Eurasian Media Forum in Kazakhstan, the Global Innovation Conference.


Lei’s career in journalism began in Beijing at CCTV’s English channel in 2003. She also spent a year in Shandong province on a sino-Australian logistics joint venture.  Lei started out in finance and worked for five years with Cadbury Schweppes and ExxonMobil in Melbourne. She is a Certified Practising Accountant.


Ms Cheng is also an accredited translator between Chinese and English. Lei was born in China but became an Australian citizen. She was named the Australian Global Alumni Ambassador in 2016.

Lu Jianzhong

Chairman Silk Road Chamber of International Commerce; Board Chairman Tang West Market Group

Mr. Lu Jianzhong is Board Chairman of the Tang West Market Group and Vice President of the China Chamber of International Commerce.


Mr. Lu also holds a number of civil service positions in China — the Deputy to the 13th National People’s Congress, a member of the 10th, 11th, and 12th Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), a member of the Economic Committee of CPPCC, the Deputy of 13th, 14th, and 15th People’s Congress of Xi’an City, Deputy Director of China Foundation of International Studies, Vice Chairman of China Industry-University-Research Institute Collaboration Association, Vice Chairman of China Committee of the Silk Road Business Council, Chairman of the Culture Committee of the China Chamber of International Commerce, President of the National Private Museums Organization, Vice President of the China Cultural Chamber of Commerce for the Private Sector, Executive Committee Member of the All-China Federation of Industry & Commerce, Consultant of the Association of Chinese Intangible Cultural Heritage Protection, Vice Chairman of Shaanxi Federation of Industry & Commerce, Vice Chairman of Shaanxi Chinese Culture Promotion Society, Chairman of Shaanxi Association of Private Museums, and Chairman of the Council of Xi’an Tang West Market Museum.


Mr. Lu has received numerous awards, including Yearly Outstanding Individual of China Cultural Heritage Protection, Chinese Culture Leading Figure, Leading Figure of the Year, Top Ten Leading Figures of China Private Enterprises, Chinese Gentleman of Time Figure Magazine, Top Influential Figure of Cultural Sector in Shaanxi, and twice Top 10 Leading Figure of Shaanxi Culture Industry.


Mr. Lu is entitled to Special Government Allowances of the State Council of China as a National Expert and obtained a Master’s Degree in Project Management at Northwestern Polytechnic University in China.

Liz Larson

Pacific Financial Inclusion Program (UNCDF)

Liz Larson is the Results Measurement Advisor for the United Nation’s Capital Development Fund’s (UNCDF) Pacific Financial Inclusion Programme (PFIP) and has over 18 years of experience in economic development and financial inclusion. Since March 2014, she has been responsible for impact and results measurement, developing and implementing at all levels of the program’s strategy and operations. She manages both the research and gender portfolios as well, spearheading country and project level research to understand the solutions to fostering inclusive economies.


Liz began her career working on the economic development and business consulting work of Mercy Corps in the US, Indonesia and Nepal. She then joined Oxfam America (OA) managing the livelihoods portfolio in East Asia, with a focus on community finance and agriculture. Liz then joined MIX as Asia Regional Manager starting up the MIX office in Hyderabad, India, responsible for all regional activities and a team of analysts.


Liz has a master’s degree in International Studies from the University of Oregon, and a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies from The Evergreen State College. She has also studied documentary photography with the Salt Center and has been an instructor on a study abroad program focused on Himalayan Ecosystems with the Wildland Studies program

Patrick Cooke

Regional Editor for Asia and the Pacific, Oxford Business Group

Patrick oversees all research and editorial output from fast-growing emerging and frontier markets across Asia-Pacific. Based in Manila and a regular visitor to other regional capitals, he heads a research team providing multiplatform business intelligence and analysis across key growth sectors. A graduate in Political Studies from University of Leeds, Patrick started his career as a newsroom journalist, winning a national award for his feature writing before moving into economic research. As a roaming analyst who lived and worked across four continents in three years, Patrick has conducted insightful interviews with an impressive array of government ministers, central bankers and top executives on the pertinent issues shaping their markets. His personal research interests include inclusive growth, the rise of China, the future of work and the adaptation of emerging Asia to the fourth industrial revolution. He contributes regular editorial columns to a number of regional newspapers and appears on TV as both guest and presenter, sharing his views on the opportunities and challenges facing the region in an era of great disruption.


One liner on why Patrick is attending the APBF: “I am excited about a forum that brings together regional innovators offering sustainable solutions that can have an profound impact at the grassroots of society

David Davies

Founder, Escavox & Former Senior Investment Banker (Goldman Sachs, Lehman, Nomura & SCB).

David has been the Founder and CEO of several successful FinTech, SaaS, and mobile startups. He previously spent over a decade in senior roles at global investment banks (Goldman Sachs, Lehman, Nomura & SCB). David’s presented keynote speeches at Global Forum on Innovations in Agriculture 2018 (where AgUnity was also awarded ‘Best Innovation by a Startup’) and has also presented on multiple occasions including Asian Development Bank FinTech Conference Manila and Said Business School (Oxford University) and will be speaking at KNOW Conference in 2019. David has also been named ‘Agriprineneur of the Year 2018’ by Future Agro Challenge in Turkey. David has a deep understanding of cryptography and distributed crypto-ledger (DLT) technology along with the impact of trust, digital identity and financial inclusion in changing the lives of developing world communities.


One-liner on why David is coming to coming to speak at APBF


“APBF provide the platform for us to reach out to the community in Papua New Guinea as well as businesses and partners who can leverage our platform to together help lift smallholder farmers out of poverty”

Barbara Meynert

Senior Advisor, Fung Group

Business leader and entrepreneur, Barbara Meynert has executive expertise across a broad range of sectors. She has enjoyed an international career in merchant banking, commercial and regulatory institutions, as well as board directorships in the corporate and non-profit sectors in Asia and Europe. She has served such global organizations as the World Economic Forum and the International Chamber of Commerce.


She is a member of the Advisory Board of the Asia Global Institute, a director of the Thailand-Hong Kong Business Council, Chair of the UN ESCAP Task Force on Digital Economy, and Adjunct Professor at the University of Hong Kong.


Barbara Meynert is Senior Advisor to the Fung Group and has been a long-time director and advisor to the Li and Fung Group and a number of their subsidiary companies. She played a crucial role as a director and advisor in the establishment of both the Hong Kong Airport Authority and the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission. Before that, she served in executive roles in the international merchant banking industry. She was Managing Director of Barclays Investment Bank BZW in Hong Kong and Asia following her position as Chief Executive of Kredietbank Luxembourg’s Asia-Pacific operations.


Barbara Meynert holds an MSc from the London School of Economics and a BA from the University of Hong Kong. She is based in Hong Kong and Bangkok and takes an active interest in Asean affairs, global issues, health and ageing, and digital technologies.

Asif Ibrahim

Vice Chairman, Newage Group of Industries & Chair ESBN Task Force on Disaster and Climate Risk Reduction

Mr. Asif Ibrahim is the former President of the Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI), the largest trade body of Bangladesh. He is currently the Chairman of Business Initiative Leading Development (BUILD), a Public Private Dialogue platform to expedite policy reforms to enable private sector led economic growth of Bangladesh. Mr Ibrahim is currently on the board of the Federation of Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI). He received his formal education from the University of Delhi (India) and the University of North Texas (USA). Mr. Ibrahim is currently the Vice Chairman of Newage Group of Industries, a business house involved mainly in manufacturing and exporting ready-made garments, textiles and plastic products. He has previously been on the board of the France Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCIFB) and the Bangladesh Thai Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BTCCI). He is also the former Chairman of the research cell of Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA). Mr. Ibrahim was awarded the Commercially Important Person (CIP) status by the Ministry of Commerce of Bangladesh in the year 2007 for his contribution in national export.


Asif received his formal education at the University of Delhi (India) and the University of North Texas (USA).

Alexander Welzl

Pacific Plastic Marine Litter Project, Austrian High Level Expert Group on Plastic Marine Litter

As lecturer at the University of Applied Sciences Technikum Wien (UASTW, Austria/Europe) Alexander G. WELZL started the first lecture on the National Innovation System of P.R. China (and management of innovation in Chinese corporations) at an Austrian university in the winter term 2018/19. He is also Senior Fellow with EUPRO Bureau for European Projects (since 2016), a Vienna based private research institute. In March and April 2019 Alexander stays as a visiting fellow at Zhejiang University in Hangzhou.


In previous positions Alexander was senior researcher with Economica (2008 – 2016), a Vienna based macroeconomic think tank, policy officer as well as human resources and performance management expert with Austrian Federal Ministry of Finance’s Directorate General I (2007 – 2008), European Coordinator and Chairman of the Commission on Intellectual Capital (CIC) of the European Federation of Financial Analysts Societies (EFFAS, Frankfurt am Main, Germany/Europe, 2006 – 2013), Senior consultant with Munich (Germany) based professional service firm ESPRIT Consulting (2003 – 2007) and head of staff unit‚ Spin-off and Venture Management of the CEO of Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT, 1998 – 2003).


Alexander is a frequently invited speaker contributing to conferences, expert workshops and seminars amongst others at and with OECD, World Bank, Academy of Macroeconomic Research (AMR) of National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) of P.R. China, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS, Beijing), US National Academy of Sciences (Washington DC/USA), Harvard University (Boston/USA), University of Oxford (Oxford/UK), European University Institute (Florence/Italy), Waseda University (Tokyo/Japan), University of Heidelberg (Heidelberg/Germany), Deutsche Bank AG/Deutsche Bank Research (Berlin, Germany), Swiss Financial Analysts Association (SFAA, Switzerland) and Austrian Institute of Economic Research (Vienna, Austria).